Just to Be on the Safe Side: BT and IBM Both Announce New Unified Security Divisions

B. Ostergaard
B. Ostergaard

Summary Bullets:         

  • BT and IBM are consolidating their security capabilities in response to customers’ demand for more coherence.
  • The FUD factor has been somewhat toned down as customers focus on securing their business processes.

The past week brought two significant organizational announcements in the managed security service provider (MSSP) market.  BT Global Services is finally bringing its diverse security capabilities under one hat (i.e., BT Assure), and IBM is following suit, bringing its far-flung security expertise into a single division  (i.e., IBM Security Systems, reporting into the Software Middleware Group). Continue reading “Just to Be on the Safe Side: BT and IBM Both Announce New Unified Security Divisions”

The Race for Mobile Data Security

A. Braunberg
A. Braunberg

Summary Bullets:

  • Regardless of device, data protection is critical.
  • Current product/service choices are diverse to the point of being a bit daunting.

I have blogged a good bit lately about our recent mobility survey data.  One of the takeaways, as I have noted, is that enterprises are resigned to (and perhaps beginning to embrace) the consumerization of IT and the need to provide a degree of choice in mobile device support.  What this tends to mean is that Apple and Android smartphones and tablets are increasingly accessing resources from corporate networks.  However, while enterprise IT/security teams might have lost the battle, they still plan on winning the war; and the war has always really been about data protection. Continue reading “The Race for Mobile Data Security”

Beating Wired Psychology with 4G/3G Fixed Wireless Broadband Access

B. Washburn
B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • Mix 4G, 3G, CPE, and processes: wireless broadband can be drop-in T1 competition.
  • For enterprises having a tough time accepting wireless, a trial should be simple.

With carriers’ 4G build-outs progressing, will wireless data finally become an eligible alternative to traditional T1 access sales?  Fixed wireless as an alternative to copper or fiber has been around practically forever: see microwave.  Widespread 3G rollouts sparked wireless carriers’ interest in adapting mobile wireless broadband for fixed applications, a cheap and easily deployed alternative to microwave systems.  In 2007, carrier support of Cisco Systems’ 3G high-speed WAN interface card (HWIC) for its Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) helped legitimize the practice.  Besides direct sales by major providers AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, CLECs, network aggregators, and international carriers doing business in the U.S. have jumped on board with the major wireless providers.  Among businesses, fixed access for 3G wireless broadband has been a smashing success – sort of.  The “sort of” is because most of the time, 3G fixed wireless broadband is in the back seat.  The technology wins jobs such as backing up primary (wired) access; fast-in, temporary connectivity until wired service is in place; or as a primary connection, as a last resort.

Continue reading “Beating Wired Psychology with 4G/3G Fixed Wireless Broadband Access”

Wall Street Occupies the Thoughts of UC Developers

Brian Riggs
B. Riggs

Summary Bullets:

  • Financial market-related worries are causing major corporate shifts among UC solution developers.
  • IT buyers should ensure UC solution developers’ problems are not passed on to them.

Many major developers of UC solutions are in a state of disarray thanks in part to the financial markets.  Cisco, in response to investor complaints about its stagnant stock price, is in the latter phases of a corporate re-organization that saw major shifts in its business strategy and widespread layoffs.  Alcatel-Lucent, in what many believe to be a bid to raise a quick $1.5 billion in cash to help it make good on promises for a financial turnaround, is excising its Genesys contact center business from the larger enterprise organization – something that for years the company said it would never do.  Moreover, Avaya is preparing itself for an IPO to help pay back investor Silver Lake and reduce the debt incurred from its 2009 acquisition of Nortel’s enterprise business. Continue reading “Wall Street Occupies the Thoughts of UC Developers”

Desktop Video is Beginning to See the Light

J. Caron
J. Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • Desktop video has always been a tough sell, but now the value is easier to prove because the cost is lowering.
  • Skype proved the people do like to use personal video—if it’s free (or relatively “free”) and easy. The same will apply in the enterprise.

The time is fast approaching for IT managers to begin taking desktop video seriously. This isn’t due to the dramatic improvements in the types of devices and services that support personal video, nor does it have much to do with the incessant marketing initiatives driven by certain suppliers that seem convinced customers are wandering in darkness and just don’t know what they are missing. Continue reading “Desktop Video is Beginning to See the Light”

Big Blue and Big Security

A. Braunberg
A. Braunberg

Summary Bullets

  • A “Smarter Planet” is not necessarily a safer planet
  • Analytics will become an increasingly important component of security solutions

I spent an interesting couple of days this week at IBM Software’s Connect event. The yearly analyst event brings together IBM’s software brands to talk strategy and trends. This was the first year that IBM invited security analysts to the event: a nod to the formation of a standalone Security Systems division within IBM Software. IBM has had a checkered past in the security markets (most notably with the poorly-executed ISS acquisition), but I came away from the event with the feeling that the company has a strategy in place that realistically addresses IBM’s strengths and weaknesses. Continue reading “Big Blue and Big Security”

The Thin Red Line between Quality Control and Root Kit Privacy Invasion

B. Ostergaard
B. Ostergaard

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobile carriers only want to make sure our traffic is OK; they just forgot to ask.
  • Anything put on an open platform can be taken off, but what about the ethics behind such actions?

 Carrier IQ (CIQ) is a very discreet U.S. software company with an application which it claims helps network providers diagnose a range of problems on Android devices, including identifying user location, causes of premature battery drainage, dropped calls, and other system problems.  The reason for discretion is the fact that the app is preloaded onto mobile phones before being sold to customers, and once loaded, it is very hard to spot, has a wide range of preset permissions to monitor and report any and all user activities on the device to the carrier, and cannot be turned off.  In other words, CIQ meets the definition of a root kit.   

Continue reading “The Thin Red Line between Quality Control and Root Kit Privacy Invasion”

Mobile Application Development and Delivery: Service Providers Offer Unique Benefits, but Does IT Need Them?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:         

  • Mobile application development and delivery has become a big focus for service providers, which offer a range of different approaches, including platform-enabled development, delivery of third-party apps, and enterprise app stores.
  • These solutions may complement internal capabilities from IT; what can they do that IT cannot?

The mobile application has become the new frontier for service providers adding to their managed mobility services portfolios.  As hundreds of thousands of mobile apps are now available for download from app stores, at the very least, IT may need help in sorting through, vetting, and establishing workflow procedures to approve or disapprove applications for specific users or departments.  However, service providers want to do more than provide a way to manage third-party applications.  Many of them are hoping to monetize application development and delivery.  For example, a number of operators and IT service providers (such as AT&T, Verizon, and Accenture) are hosting mobile enterprise application platforms (MEAPs) that are used to develop custom mobile applications, or they can deliver third-party enterprise apps as a service for horizontal business processes, for a specific vertical application, or to empower B2B2C applications such as mobile marketing campaigns.  Many large IT service providers such as CSC and IBM are more likely to develop custom applications for a particular customer, but can optionally host them and deliver them as a service.  There are also hybrid approaches; service providers such as T-Systems have developed a set of business applications with broad appeal and are offering them to a variety of customers across different industries.

Continue reading “Mobile Application Development and Delivery: Service Providers Offer Unique Benefits, but Does IT Need Them?”